SB Nation

Steven Goldman | November 7, 2013

SB Nation's 2013 MLB awards

Each year, SB Nation polls its network of team bloggers in a referendum on the major league season that mirrors that of the Baseball Writers Association of America. But with one difference: ours is unfettered by any of the pretensions that warp the ballots of the columnists and beat writers who vote on those “real” awards. SB Nation’s informed outsiders have no illusions that they are acting as guardians of the game and redactors of its history. Rather, they have a much higher standard to answer to: The choices each of them makes will be scrutinized by a community that lives and dies with its chosen team in a way that makes terms like “loyalty” and “devotion” seem painfully inadequate and occasionally challenges accepted notions of good mental health. In other words, they can’t afford to appear to be poseurs, parvenus, dilettantes. The threat of judgment and ridicule enforces a thoroughgoing integrity that would wither the average American statesman.

What follows is the results of our annual poll in three categories: Best Player, Best Pitcher and Best Rookie in each league. In some cases our results will anticipate those of the BBWAA, while in others we will likely diverge from them. In either case, the voters are prepared to defend their decisions with the tenacity of bulldogs. Living day to day in the arena, they know it’s what’s expected of them — and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

AL Best Player

For the last two seasons, one of the game’s dominant controversies has been whether Mike Trout (all-around excellent player) is more valuable than Miguel Cabrera (ultimate stationary masher). It wasn’t much of a conflict for our voters, who gave Trout a Nixon-McGovern-style landslide. Note also the strong showing by Oakland A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson, a strong threat on both offense and defense this year who was neglected by the establishment for both the All-Star Game bench and the Gold Glove awards.

Mike Trout

Los Angeles Angels

.323 AVG, .432 OBP, .557 SLG, 27 HR, 33 SB, 9.2 WAR
  • 1st - 35 votes
  • 2nd - 2 votes
  • 3rd - 2 votes
  • 4th - 0 votes
  • 5th - 0 votes
  • 6th - 0 votes
  • 7th - 0 votes
  • 8th - 0 votes
  • 9th - 0 votes
  • 10th - 0 votes
  • Votes, from 1st to 10th place

Miguel Cabrera

Detroit Tigers

.348 AVG, .442 OBP, .636 SLG, 44 HR, 3 SB, 7.2 WAR
  • 1st - 4 votes
  • 2nd - 28 votes
  • 3rd - 6 votes
  • 4th - 0 votes
  • 5th - 1 vote
  • 6th - 0 votes
  • 7th - 0 votes
  • 8th - 0 votes
  • 9th - 0 votes
  • 10th - 0 votes
  • Votes, from 1st to 10th place

Josh Donaldson

Oakland Athletics

.301 AVG, .384 OBP, .499 SLG, 24 HR, 5 SB, 8.0 WAR
  • 1st - 0 votes
  • 2nd - 6 votes
  • 3rd - 19 votes
  • 4th - 11 votes
  • 5th - 1 vote
  • 6th - 1 vote
  • 7th - 1 vote
  • 8th - 0 votes
  • 9th - 0 votes
  • 10th - 0 votes
  • Votes, from 1st to 10th place

Chris Davis

Baltimore Orioles

.286 AVG, .370 OBP, .634 SLG, 53 HR, 4 SB, 6.3 WAR
  • 1st - 0 votes
  • 2nd - 2 votes
  • 3rd - 10 votes
  • 4th - 15 votes
  • 5th - 8 votes
  • 6th - 3 votes
  • 7th - 1 vote
  • 8th - 0 votes
  • 9th - 0 votes
  • 10th - 0 votes
  • Votes, from 1st to 10th place

Evan Longoria

Tampa Bay Rays

.269 AVG, .343 OBP, .498 SLG, 32 HR, 1 SB, 6.3 WAR
  • 1st - 0 votes
  • 2nd - 0 votes
  • 3rd - 0 votes
  • 4th - 7 votes
  • 5th - 13 votes
  • 6th - 10 votes
  • 7th - 3 votes
  • 8th - 1 vote
  • 9th - 3 votes
  • 10th - 0 votes
  • Votes, from 1st to 10th place
  • 1st
  • 2nd
  • 3rd
  • 4th
  • 5th

NL Best Player

The voting for NL Best Player presented no problems for our panel; they came close to unanimity when it came to making the final choice. A year ago, Andrew McCutchen parlayed a torrid midseason stretch into MVP consideration, but the Pirates’ second-half fade, a slide mirrored in McCutchen’s production, knocked him down to third place. This year the Pirates hung on and made the postseason for the first time since the Bonds-Bonilla-Drabek days and the center fielder was a big reason why, hitting .339/.441/.561 in the second half. Clayton Kershaw, whose extraordinary 1.83 ERA (his third straight ERA title) figures to snatch some first-place votes from the position players in the BBWAA balloting, barely registers here. Note the fifth-place showing for Joey Votto, whose high-OBP/low-RBI season was much derided in Cincinnati this summer. We’ll see if the professional pundits are as perceptive.

Andrew McCutchen

Pittsburgh Pirates

.317 AVG, .404 OBP, .508 SLG, 21 HR, 27 SB, 8.2 WAR
  • 1st - 34 votes
  • 2nd - 2 votes
  • 3rd - 0 votes
  • 4th - 0 votes
  • 5th - 0 votes
  • 6th - 0 votes
  • 7th - 0 votes
  • 8th - 0 votes
  • 9th - 0 votes
  • 10th - 0 votes
  • Votes, from 1st to 10th place

Paul Goldschmidt

Arizona Diamondbacks

.302 AVG, .401 OBP, .551 SLG, 36 HR, 15 SB, 7.0 WAR
  • 1st - 0 votes
  • 2nd - 17 votes
  • 3rd - 12 votes
  • 4th - 5 votes
  • 5th - 0 votes
  • 6th - 1 votes
  • 7th - 0 votes
  • 8th - 0 votes
  • 9th - 0 votes
  • 10th - 1 votes
  • Votes, from 1st to 10th place

Matt Carpenter

St. Louis Cardinals

.318 AVG, .392 OBP, .481 SLG, 11 HR, 3 SB, 6.6 WAR
  • 1st - 0 votes
  • 2nd - 5 votes
  • 3rd - 4 votes
  • 4th - 8 votes
  • 5th - 6 votes
  • 6th - 5 votes
  • 7th - 2 votes
  • 8th - 3 votes
  • 9th - 0 votes
  • 10th - 1 vote
  • Votes, from 1st to 10th place

Joey Votto

Cincinnati Reds

.305 AVG, .435 OBP, .491 SLG, 24 HR, 6 SB, 6.4 WAR
  • 1st - 0 votes
  • 2nd - 2 votes
  • 3rd - 4 votes
  • 4th - 7 votes
  • 5th - 7 votes
  • 6th - 5 votes
  • 7th - 7 votes
  • 8th - 3 votes
  • 9th - 0 votes
  • 10th - 1 vote
  • Votes, from 1st to 10th place

Clayton Kershaw

Los Angeles Dodgers

33 GS, 236 IP, 1.83 ERA, 164 H, 232 SO, 52 BB, 7.8 WAR
  • 1st - 1 vote
  • 2nd - 6 votes
  • 3rd - 8 votes
  • 4th - 2 votes
  • 5th - 5 votes
  • 6th - 2 votes
  • 7th - 1 votes
  • 8th - 1 votes
  • 9th - 0 votes
  • 10th - 0 votes
  • Votes, from 1st to 10th place
  • 1st
  • 2nd
  • 3rd
  • 4th
  • 5th

AL Best Pitcher

Max Scherzer takes our balloting going away, as he probably will the BBWAA voting. There were odd moments this season when an argument could have been constructed in favor of others, Yu Darvish, Chris Sale, Anibal Sanchez among them. In the end, even value metrics like WAR are no help to those that would prefer to construct a most-valuable pitcher narrative around something other than Scherzer’s league-leading 21 wins, are no help since the league leaders finished in an indistinguishable heap. In the final analysis, Scherzer was at least as good as any other pitcher on the circuit, and in this case the high win total isn’t a Bob Welch-LaMarr Hoyt-style red herring but a clue pointing to Scherzer’s mastery.

Max Scherzer

Detroit Tigers

32 GS, 214.1 IP, 2.90 ERA, 152 H, 240 SO, 56 BB, 6.7 WAR
  • 1st - 32 votes
  • 2nd - 5 votes
  • 3rd - 1 vote
  • 4th - 1 vote
  • 5th - 0 votes
  • Votes, from 1st to 5th place

Yu Darvish

Texas Rangers

32 GS, 209.2 IP, 2.83 ERA, 145 H, 277 SO, 80 BB, 5.8 WAR
  • 1st - 4 votes
  • 2nd - 6 votes
  • 3rd - 11 votes
  • 4th - 6 votes
  • 5th - 8 votes
  • Votes, from 1st to 5th place

Chris Sale

Chicago White Sox

30 GS, 214.1 IP, 3.07 ERA, 184 H, 226 SO, 46 BB, 6.9 WAR
  • 1st - 3 votes
  • 2nd - 8 votes
  • 3rd - 4 votes
  • 4th - 11 votes
  • 5th - 9 votes
  • Votes, from 1st to 5th place

Anibal Sanchez

Detroit Tigers

29 GS, 182 IP, 2.57 ERA, 156 H, 202 SO, 54 BB, 6.3 WAR
  • 1st - 0 votes
  • 2nd - 14 votes
  • 3rd - 7 votes
  • 4th - 4 votes
  • 5th - 8 votes
  • Votes, from 1st to 5th place

Felix Hernandez

Seattle Mariners

31 GS, 204.1 IP, 3.04 ERA, 185 H, 216 SO, 46 BB, 5.2 WAR
  • 1st - 0 votes
  • 2nd - 6 votes
  • 3rd - 10 votes
  • 4th - 9 votes
  • 5th - 3 votes
  • Votes, from 1st to 5th place
  • 1st
  • 2nd
  • 3rd
  • 4th
  • 5th

NL Best Pitcher

Legend has it that one elector in the 1820 presidential election purposely voted against James Monroe so that George Washington would remain the only president unanimously selected by the electoral college. We can only assume that the one voter who cast his ballot for Matt Harvey had the same sort of thing in mind where Clayton Kershaw was concerned.

Clayton Kershaw

Los Angeles Dodgers

33 GS, 236 IP, 1.83 ERA, 164 H, 232 SO, 52 BB, 7.8 WAR
  • 1st - 35 votes
  • 2nd - 1 vote
  • 3rd - 0 votes
  • 4th - 0 votes
  • 5th - 0 votes
  • Votes, from 1st to 5th place

Adam Wainwright

St. Louis Cardinals

34 GS, 241.1 IP, 2.94 ERA, 223 H, 219 SO, 35 BB, 6.2 WAR
  • 1st - 0 votes
  • 2nd - 14 votes
  • 3rd - 13 votes
  • 4th - 6 votes
  • 5th - 1 vote
  • Votes, from 1st to 5th place

Matt Harvey

New York Mets

26 GS, 178.1 IP, 2.27 ERA, 135 H, 191 SO, 31 BB, 5.2 WAR
  • 1st - 1 vote
  • 2nd - 8 votes
  • 3rd - 6 votes
  • 4th - 8 votes
  • 5th - 10 votes
  • Votes, from 1st to 5th place

Cliff Lee

Philadelphia Phillies

31 GS, 222.2 IP, 2.87 ERA, 193 H, 222 SO, 32 BB, 7.3 WAR
  • 1st - 0 votes
  • 2nd - 7 votes
  • 3rd - 8 votes
  • 4th - 11 votes
  • 5th - 5 votes
  • Votes, from 1st to 5th place

Jose Fernandez

Miami Marlins

28 GS, 172.2 IP, 2.19 ERA, 111 H, 187 SO, 58 BB, 6.3 WAR
  • 1st - 0 votes
  • 2nd - 6 votes
  • 3rd - 8 votes
  • 4th - 6 votes
  • 5th - 13 votes
  • Votes, from 1st to 5th place
  • 1st
  • 2nd
  • 3rd
  • 4th
  • 5th

AL Best Rookie

At midseason there was some question as to whether the American League would produce a rookie worth voting for at the end of the year. Because of a combination of service-time manipulation and his own development at Triple-A, Wil Myers had only been up briefly. By the end of the year, the field was still weak, but the leader had clearly established himself.

Wil Myers

Tampa Bay Rays

.293 AVG, .354 OBP, .478 SLG, 13 HR, 5 SB, 2.0 WAR
  • 1st - 33 votes
  • 2nd - 5 votes
  • 3rd - 1 vote
  • Votes, from 1st to 3rd place

Jose Iglesias

Detroit Tigers

.303 AVG, .349 OBP, .386 SLG, 2 HR, 5 SB, 1.9 WAR
  • 1st - 2 votes
  • 2nd - 17 votes
  • 3rd - 5 votes
  • Votes, from 1st to 3rd place

Chris Archer

Tampa Bay Rays

23 GS, 128.2 IP, 107 H, 101 SO, 38 BB, 3.22 ERA 2.2 WAR
  • 1st - 3 votes
  • 2nd - 2 votes
  • 3rd - 15 votes
  • Votes, from 1st to 3rd place

David Lough

Kansas City Royals

.286 AVG, .311 OBP, .413 SLG, 5 HR, 5 SB, 2.7 WAR
  • 1st - 1 vote
  • 2nd - 2 votes
  • 3rd - 4 votes
  • Votes, from 1st to 3rd place

Martin Perez

Texas Rangers

20 GS, 124.1 IP, 129 H, 84 SO, 37 BB, 3.62 ERA, 1.6 WAR
  • 1st - 0 votes
  • 2nd - 3 votes
  • 3rd - 5 votes
  • Votes, from 1st to 3rd place
  • 1st
  • 2nd
  • 3rd
  • 4th
  • 5th

NL Best Rookie

The final controversial award on our ballot, Jose Fernandez of the Marlins seemed to have a lock on the award until Yasiel Puig came along in June and lit a fire under a Dodgers team that ultimately won its division. Perhaps if Puig had maintained his batting average in the .380s we might have had more of an argument, but a soft, injury-slowed September took some of the glow off of Puig’s debut, while Fernandez headed into the clubhouse with one of the best seasons by a rookie pitcher in the history of the game.

Jose Fernandez

Miami Marlins

28 GS, 172.2 IP, 2.19 ERA, 111 H, 187 SO, 58 BB, 6.3 WAR
  • 1st - 29 votes
  • 2nd - 7 votes
  • 3rd - 0 votes
  • Votes, from 1st to 3rd place

Yasiel Puig

Los Angeles Dodgers

.319 AVG, .391 OBP, .534 SLG, 19 HR, 11 SB, 5.0 WAR
  • 1st - 7 votes
  • 2nd - 28 votes
  • 3rd - 1 vote
  • Votes, from 1st to 3rd place

Hyun-jin Ryu

Los Angeles Dodgers

30 GS, 192 IP, 182 H, 154 SO, 49 BB, 3.00 ERA, 3.3 WAR
  • 1st - 0 votes
  • 2nd - 0 votes
  • 3rd - 13 votes
  • Votes, from 1st to 3rd place

Shelby Miller

St. Louis Cardinals

31 GS, 173.1 IP, 152 H, 169 SO, 57 BB, 3.06 ERA, 3.4 WAR
  • 1st - 0 votes
  • 2nd - 0 votes
  • 3rd - 8 votes
  • Votes, from 1st to 3rd place

Julio Teheran

Atlanta Braves

30 GS, 185.2 IP, 173 H, 170 SO, 45 BB, 3.20 ERA, 3.2 WAR
  • 1st - 0 votes
  • 2nd - 1 vote
  • 3rd - 4 votes
  • Votes, from 1st to 3rd place
  • 1st
  • 2nd
  • 3rd
  • 4th
  • 5th
Words: Steven Goldman | Data: Eric Simon | Developer: Josh Laincz |Designer: Ramla Mahmood | Producer: Chris Mottram | Special Thanks: Georgia Cowley

About the Author

Steve_goldman

Steven Goldman is the MLB Editor for SBNation.com, and founder of SB Nation's Yankees site Pinstriped Bible. Steve is also the author of Forging Genius: The Making of Casey Stengel; and editor and co-author of Mind Game, It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over, and Extra Innings.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.